Spring Training (finally) ends

‘Bizarre’ camp concludesThe Wash. Times
Spring training is finally over! Some say spring training is always kind of brutal, but this year was just ridiculous. Down in Fredericksburg, The Free Lance Star wonders if the Nats are ready.


Nats’ Young Star Isn’t Kidding AroundThe Post
Dutch! is precocious. He had a great spring, other than fielding which he says he will take more seriously in the regular season. That is not what Frank Robinson likes to hear from his rookies.

Nats petition MLB for openers at homeThe Wash. Times
Hopefully MLB will let the Nats have their home opener on the first day of the season again and restore balance to the force.

U.S. House To Discuss TV DisputeThe Post
This is probably a misuse of federal resources, but I am willing to over look that if they make Peter Angelo$ feel very uncomfortable.

More from The Wash. Times: Congress to query Comcast


THOMAS BOSWELLRivals Share Common EnemyThe Post
The headline makes this column out to be something that it should be and scathing indictment of Angelo$ but is instead a wishy washy piece about how the O’s were allegedly special to Washingtonians. Nuts!

Due to the ongoing malevolence that Angelo$ has demonstrated to Washington, anything associated with him is to be jeered at all occasions. D.C. should not subsidize Baltimore, period.


Gonzalez And Ward Earn SpotsThe Post
The roster breakdown. I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot better knowing Daryle Ward is on the team and Ryan Church is not.

Emmis Considering Sports Beyond Washington NationalsRadio & Records
If Jeff Smulyan does not get the Nationals, he will look elsewhere for a sports team. Hat tip to DCRTV.com

Washington Nationals announce 2006 promotional schedulenationals.com
Like last year, the promotions are not much to speak of, just another shortcoming of MLB’s stewardship.

UPDATED:

Nationals full of questionsUSA Today
The USA Today season preview.

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Observations Vol. 1: We asked for Mojo Nixon, they said "he don’t work here"

I have been meaning to begin doing random posts about whatever is on my mind for some time. I am calling this feature, Observations, unless/until I come up with a better name. Think of it as the logical successor to Larry King’s USA Today column, only more um, logical.

  • John O’Hurley (aka Mr. Peterman) was named as the new host of Family Feud. I don’t really care, I don’t watch a lot of TV and certainly not game shows, but I know enough about that show to know the logical choice was Mojo Nixon. Just imagine him yelling, “let’s play the Feud!” and it all makes sense.
  • No show better captured the zeitgeist of the Reagan era better than Duck Tales. The world’s greatest plutocrat swims around in a vault of money — that’s rich.
  • I still cannot believe that nobody says rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for Microsoft.
  • I wonder how long until I am the only American under age 40 without an iPod. Six months? Two months?
  • In a related note, I wonder if 40 15 years from now I will be one of the few of my peers without a hearing aid.
  • I have had so many questions answered on Post and USA Today chats that it is no longer a big deal or even blog worthy. The exception is Tom Sietsema, The Post’s food critic. I am about 0 for 12 on his chats. I think I still need to get Gene Weingarten to answer one too, but I have not tried much with him.
  • The weather sure is promising for the foreseeable future, I wonder if the Ombudsman has snuck into the area again.
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  • Svrluga booksignings

    svrluga.gif

    Fans of the Nats and Barry Svrluga’s sportswriting will be happy to know that there are already three events scheduled for the release of his new book, National Pastime. The chronicle of the inagural Nationals season went on sale on Tuesday.

    According to Doubleday, there are two events, including one this Saturday:

    4/1/2006
    Sonoma Restaurant
    223 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
    Washington, DC 20003
    202-347-6460 4 pm

    4/21/2006
    Borders Books
    1801 K Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20006
    202-466-4999

    Also, Olsson’s is hosting Svrluga on Monday, April 24, 2006 at 07:00 PM at The Lansburgh/Penn Quarter location. If you know of any others, please leave them in the comments.

    Crossposted from Metroblogging DC

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    1 day until the return to RFK

    Nats, Guillen Seek A Happy BalanceThe Post
    Jose Guillen is moody and needy and seems to play better when he is mad. The Sith rightfielder says he is happy that others got contract extensions, but wants one of his own.


    MLB Opens Nats’ Books to Eight BiddersThe Post
    Here we are, less than a week from opening day #2 and MLB is just making the Nationals books available to the eight potential ownership groups. One can only hope that one of them will be in position to fire Jim Bowden before the trade deadline.

    Watson’s rise a surpriseThe Wash. Times
    Was anybody more surprised than Ryan Church? I want to like Brandon Watson, probably because his number is 00, but I am very skeptical. Church is a big leaguer in my mind. Fire Bowden.

    NATIONALS NOTEBOOKHernandez Isn’t Quite There YetThe Post
    LIVAN! is still limping, but says his arm is 100%. His era this spring was 1.80. Also, P Gary Majewski is feeling better after fighting an upper respiratory ailment.

    What’s Washington without issues?Philly Daily News
    A look at our team from the “people’s paper” in the city of brotherly love. The prediction is that the Nats won’t look as good as they did in the first half or as bad as they did in the second half. Most interesting quote was from Frank Robinson — “I know time is running out on me.”

    Ward claims a spotThe Wash. Times
    Oh joy, washed-up Daryle Ward has made the 40 man roster.

    Nationals ReportThe Wash. Times

    Today, The Wash. Times has their baseball preview. Yesterday, The Post did the same.
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    Separation of church and team

    Nats Send Down Church, Make Watson the StarterThe Post
    Remember yesterday when it was speculated that Brandon Watson was going to be sent to AAA and Ryan Church would stay in the majors? Wrong! Jim Bowden (file photo) sent Church (.287 9 HR 42 RBI in 2005) down to New Orleans yesterday, making Watson the starter in centerfield. This is another example of why trading Brad Wilkerson for Alfonso Soriano was a bad move — Soriano is probably going to be one and done, ultimately keeping someone who is signed for a while from developing. Wilkerson had time left on his contract, so he was part of the future and not just taking up space. Fire Bowden!

    More from The Wash. Times: Nats send Church down to New Orleans


    NATIONALS NOTEBOOKRoster Starts to Take ShapeThe Post
    Now that Church has been dealt with there is a better idea of the makeup of the team that will break camp. Daryle Ward and Royce Clayton are getting to stick around. Oh joy.

    Ortiz again solid on moundThe Wash. Times
    Ramon Ortiz is having a decent spring, which means the Nats might have three pitchers in their rotation. I am not ready to count Tony Armas Jr.

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    Abramoff fallout?

    After Abramoff, Nats Fear It’s Out With the Hill CrowdThe Post
    The Nationals may be another victim of the Jack Abramoff scandal — lobbyists are rethinking Nats season tickets.


    Happy Vidro’s feeling no painThe Wash. Times
    2B Jose Vidro says he has not felt this good in years. And Soriano wept.

    Watson’s Numbers May Not Be EnoughThe Post
    Despite a great spring, Brandon Watson looks to be the odd man out in the outfield and wind up in AAA. Ryan Church detractors seem to be the winners here since they can question his toughness more easily with him in the majors.

    Q uite A CATCH Too slow? Maybe, but Nationals get plenty of defense from SchneiderThe Free Lance Star
    Brian Schneider became a catcher because he was too slow to play elsewhere. Since then he became the “best catcher no one knows about.”

    Astacio Continues To StruggleThe Post
    Due to the incompetence of Jim Bowden (file photo) Pedro Astachio does not have to worry about his spring ERA being over 10. Bowden has let so many pitchers go that just about anyone who can throw a ball 59 feet has a chance in this rotation.

    More from The Wash. Times: Astacio still struggling


    PRESS RELEASENationals place five players, including three pitchers, on 15-day disabled listnationals.com
    The following players are on the DL, retroactive to the 24th:
    Luis Ayala (right elbow), right-handed pitcher Ryan Drese (right shoulder), right-handed pitcher Brian Lawrence (right shoulder), catcher/first baseman Robert Fick (right elbow) and shortstop Cristian Guzman (right shoulder).

    Shockingly, there were now self congratulatory quotes from Bowden about how this is a smart move.


    Nationals ReportThe Wash. Times
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    JoeBa moves on

    Battista goes from coach to salesmanCDT
    Whoa! Kind of shocking news out of the Greenberg Ice Pavilion, Joe Battista is stepping down as coach of the Penn State hockey team. He is staying with the university though, taking over the Nittany Lion club from the retiring Kay Kustanbauter.

    I am glad that JoeBa is staying with PSU, but sad that he never got to take the Icers to the next level — Division I varsity. It will happen someday and when it does, the arena needs to have his name in it.

    Battista led the Icers to the ACHA championship game every year since 1998, winning four titles in a row, 2000-2003. He also won in ’90 and ’98 and was runner up six times.

    More from The Collegian: Coach steps down for fundraising job

    Official site: Penn State Hockey

    PRESS RELEASENITTANY LION CLUB TAPS ICE HOCKEY COACH JOE BATTISTA AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (PDF)

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    TV DRAMA

    Nats TV Feud Might Be Bound For the HillThe Post
    I whole-heartedly agree with William’s assessment. Hold all parties accountable–MLB/Bud Selig for caviing to Peter Angelos, Peter Angelos for shafting Nats fans, MASN for being the mouthpiece for Angelos, and Comcast for not airing the games (though I hold MLB and Angelos to blame far more than I do Comcast). In a fair world, Peter Angelos would be stripped of the Nats’ TV rights, and that crying baby would leave us alone, but with MLB, who knows what’s possible. It would just be nice if, for once, the fans could come away victorious.


    This morning’s post brought to you by Fritz Hamme.
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    Sorry, no headlines yet

    Today’s update of Nats headlines has been delayed. I got to chatting with the WWN Københavns bureau chief and did not have time to post headlines. He is on assignment to find out if something is rotten in Denmark.

    I will say this though, if Tom Davis does get a Congressional hearing on the Nats TV situation set up, the first people to appear should be Peter Angelo$ and Bud Selig. I want them to explain under oath why the Nats TV rights were given away to someone from another city. Failing to do so would make any hearing pointless. It may not come to that though, I hope this scares people into doing the right thing. I would hate for the U.S. House of Represenatives to take up valuable time on something like this when it could be spent interrogating Jim Bowden.

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